Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit - Reunions
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2020 Ratings: #209 / 792
Year End Rank: #45
User Score
Based on 203 ratings
2020 Ratings: #146
Liked by 15 people
May 15, 2020 / Release Date
LP / Format
Southeastern / Label
Jason Isbell / Primary Artists
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CRITIC REVIEWS

90
Exclaim!

With Reunions, Isbell unites the disparate aspects of his craft — soothing acoustic and fiercely electric; Hemingway's word economy dashed with Oscar Wilde-worthy asides, relatable details and otherworldly allusions.

90
AllMusic

The fact these songs seem so telling in a strange and difficult time has a bit to do with coincidence, but more important is the excellence of Isbell's songwriting.

80
The Arts Desk

Lyrically, Isbell is at the top of his game.

80
American Songwriter

Seven albums on, Isbell’s achieved a rarified status, one that indulges a need for creativity as well as contemplation. Reunions reminds us that it’s the rare artist that succeeds at both.

80
Paste

The result is a body of work that often feels indispensable. Isbell is a songwriter’s songwriter, but the songs that result are for all of us.

80
The Line of Best Fit

With a blend of fact and fiction, Isbell has created his own Nebraska and secured his place among the greats of country-rock.

80
The Telegraph

He writes about the ordinary torments of an examined life with real empathy, matching sublime turns of phrase with all the right chords in all the right places, and arrangements that lift up a song and carry it exactly where you might want it to go.

80
No Ripcord

From tight rockers to disappointed country tunes, Reunions hits the spot.

80
Classic Rock

Whether he’s musing insightfully over alcoholism or parenthood, his band are blazing and Isbell takes a tired format and charges it up with passion and perceptiveness. An admirable anomaly.

80
Under The Radar
Now, with Isbell’s jangly, hard-earned wisdom, we too can be let go into a new world buoyed at least by his latest batch of terrific songs. Isbell can be confident he has helped at least that much.
80
PopMatters

Overall, Reunions doesn't quite achieve the heights of Southeastern or The Nashville Sound, but that's only because Isbell has set the bar so damn high for himself. This is an excellent album in its own right, and I can't imagine any Isbell fan being disappointed by it.

80
Uncut
Isbell's sixth album with The 400 Unit is a typically assured piece of work.
80
Mojo

With its acute portraits of a troubled and tangled life, Reunions is ultimately a story of redemption through fatherhood and self-knowledge, epic soul-country opener What I've Done To Help setting the mood perfectly.

78
Pitchfork

The alt-country singer-songwriter’s new album moves steadily and carefully, lingering on the conflicted emotions of his finely-etched tales and the band’s textured, elegant understatement.

70
Rolling Stone

Reunions is a nuanced, probing record that finds Isbell more restless than he’s been since Southeastern, a rich portrait of an artist eternally searching deeper within himself.

70
Spectrum Culture

With an encompassing vision for past, present and future, Reunions contains plenty of memorable, affecting tracks. It has a few missteps and doesn’t carry the persistent urgency of The Nashville Sound. Isbell and the 400 Unit have hit their groove (albeit with no peak), and it enables them to create a record with everything in its right place.

70
The Young Folks

In Reunions, as elsewhere in Isbell’s career, the simple matter of settling down and raising a family is made to sound like the greatest adventure of them all.

70
FLOOD Magazine

Isbell’s new album Reunions may be his most personal yet, and while this can yield some of the record’s most hauntingly intimate moments, it can slip a little too far into preoccupied, essayistic memoir to be among Isbell’s best work.

60
Q Magazine
He's still more traditionalist than outlier, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.
MasterCrackfox
78
With a less open mind in the past, I haven't given Jason Isbell or the 400 Unit crew much time of day. I assumed they just fell snuggly into the country category without a great deal of variation. However, I almost wouldn't even box this into country at all; it would be like trying to call Bruce Springsteen country.

I mention his name because this falls far deeper into the heartland rock category, a genre that could be confused for country given its southern rootsy elements. Country typically ... read more
nostalgia
70
The fact that Sam Hunt has seven times more monthly listeners on Spotify than Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit perfectly describes the current state of Country/Americana music but unfortunately it also gives the genre at large a bad reputation when there's gems like this one out there waiting to be heard yet some people won't give it a chance simply because of the genre attached to it.

Reunions is a brilliant and charming Alt-Country album with some of the best songwriting I've heard all year, ... read more
Jamobo
80
On any other week, this would be the most talked about and most liked album, but in this week with Moses Sumney, Charli XCX and Perfume Genius all dropping high profile releases, i'm a little worried that people might miss one of the better Country albums this year

My introduction to Jason Isbell came with his 2015 solo effort, Something More Than Free, and then in 2017 his album, Nashville Sound introduced me to The 400 Unit properly. Jason's sound is a warm mixture of Folksy Americana with ... read more
Houdanny
56
It’s got some nice moments (particularly “Dreamsicle” which is absolutely gorgeous), but in general this is little more than your average country rock album to me, and even the generally great songwriting fails to bring up anything truly innovative.

Standout: Dreamsicle
Favs: Be Afraid, It Gets Easier
Least fav: Running with our eyes closes
BGL13
82
faves: only children, dreamsicle, what’ve i done to help, overseas , letting you go, st. peter
least faves:eyes closed, river
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Track List

  1. What've I Done to Help
  2. Dreamsicle
  3. Only Children
  4. Overseas
  5. Running with Our Eyes Closed
  6. River
  7. Be Afraid
  8. St. Peter's Autograph
  9. It Gets Easier
  10. Letting You Go
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Added on: February 10, 2020